Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why Technology Is Key to Overcoming the Language Barrier

Why Technology Is Key to Overcoming the Language Barrier (Jonathan Lichtman, senior vice president of SAIC): "The two main approaches to machine translation are generally rule-based (RBMT) and statistical (SMT). RBMT uses manually programmed rules to translate one language to another. SMT involves the use of previously translated content to determine which words and phrases have the highest possibility of conveying the correct meaning. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but by combining the two approaches together in the same engine — a hybrid approach — language pairs can be developed faster and with less pre-translated “training” data.

That is an important leap in translation technology because it addresses two main barriers to the automation and accuracy of a language pair: not having enough translated data available and the constant evolving nature of language."

'via Blog this'

Monday, July 16, 2012

Lernout & Hauspie's Dragon Systems Purchase: a Horror Story Still Reverberating Today -

We were all surprised when even Dragon Systems (like most NLP companies at that time) gave up and decided to sell to their biggest competitor, but as this article demonstrates, it wasn't that simple...

Goldman Sachs and a Sale Gone Horribly Awry - "The deal, the $580 million sale of a highflying technology company, Dragon Systems, had just been approved by its board and congratulations were being exchanged. But even then, at that moment of celebration, there was a sense that something was amiss.

The chief executive of Dragon had received a congratulatory bottle from the investment bankers representing the acquiring company, a Belgian competitor called Lernout & Hauspie. But he hadn’t heard from Dragon’s own bankers at Goldman Sachs."

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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Official Blog: The Endangered Languages Project: Supporting language preservation through technology and collaboration

Official Blog: The Endangered Languages Project: Supporting language preservation through technology and collaboration: " Endangered Languages Project, a website for people to find and share the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about endangered languages. Documenting the 3,000+ languages that are on the verge of extinction (about half of all languages in the world) is an important step in preserving cultural diversity, honoring the knowledge of our elders and empowering our youth. Technology can strengthen these efforts by helping people create high-quality recordings of their elders (often the last speakers of a language), connecting diaspora communities through social media and facilitating language learning."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Solving the Machine Translation Problem - Forbes

Solving the Machine Translation Problem - Forbes: "The problem being of course that machines don’t actually “get” language very well. Don’t appreciate the richness of meaning, understand the rather sly way in which what looks like almost exactly the same phrase can have a very different meaning indeed dependent upon context.

The solution is simply to not have machines doing the translation. Instead, offer free language lessons to those who want to learn another language. Their test pieces, their exercises, will be the pieces that you are being paid to translate."

'via Blog this'